NEW DELHI: Putting an end to speculations over possibility of an NDA alliance in Jharkhand, the BJP on Thursday finally hinted on breaking ties with its oldest and most trusted ally AJSU and announced candidates on the seats kept on hold for the alliance partner.
The 19-year-old alliance was broken after AJSU party, led by Sudesh Mahto, which contested on 8 seats and won 5 of them in 2014 Assembly polls, was seeking a larger share in the seat-sharing this time while BJP was not ready to release more than 13 seats for it.
Moreover, AJSU was in favour of common agenda for which both BJP and AJSU will work together for the next five years and was also insisting that seat-sharing should be done on the basis of mass-base in a particular area. AJSU, after putting its contention before BJP’s central leadership, had been waiting for an official reply from the other side.
Keeping the doors open, Jharkhand BJP election in-charge Om Mathur, however, said that 9 seats have still been left. Hence the ball is in AJSU’s court. “We still have left 9 Assembly seats in Jharkhand. Now, AJSU has to take the call on the issue,” said Mathur.
“Since party workers have been working round-the-clock at the booth level, BJP alone is capable of achieving the target of 65-plus in Jharkhand,” said CM Raghubar Das.
Meanwhile, State unit BJP, indicating towards breaking of ties with AJSU, released a notification on Thursday evening, announcing independent candidate Vinod Singh from Hussainabad as a BJP supported a candidate. Notably, Hussainabad is also one among 17 seats which AJSU was demanding in the seat-sharing and had been left apparently by BJP by not announcing its candidate on the seat.
BJP’s Central leadership also announced third list of 15 candidates in Jharkhand which also included Chandankiyari fielding outgoing minister Amar Kumar Bauri and Viranchi Narayan from Bokaro.
Big guns, no show
The Gandhis are expected to stay away from campaigning in the upcoming Jharkhand elections.
The party released a list of star campaigners for the first phase of polling on November 30 and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was not included in the list.
Party president Sonia Gandhi is unlikely to campaign as well due to ill health.